Are you having pain on the right side of your abdomen? Pain in the lower right side of the abdomen is one of the most common reasons that people go to the Emergency Room. Though there are several conditions that can cause pain in this area, one of the most common is acute appendicitis. So how do you know if you have appendicitis for sure? Here are some things to look out for:
Symptoms of appendicitis usually start with a dull ache or pain around the belly button. Most people just think it’s indigestion and don’t give it much thought. Over the course of the next several hours the pain then migrates to the lower right side of the abdomen where the appendix is located. The pain may be associated with nausea and vomiting. Diarrhea or constipation may be present. Fever may also be present. One of the classic symptoms is loss of appetite. It is important to know that not everyone will experience all of these symptoms.
So, you think you may have appendicitis. What should you do next? Go to the ER! Appendicitis is treated by surgical removal of the appendix. A delay in seeking medical attention can lead to rupture of the appendix which can cause severe and even life-threatening complications. Surgery to remove the appendix is called an appendectomy. It is performed by general surgeons such as myself, and can be done using open or laparoscopic techniques. I perform appendix surgery using a minimally invasive laparoscopic technique which has less pain, faster recovery, and smaller incisions and scars.
If you have any questions about appendicitis, or you are worried that you might be experiencing this painful and serious condition, feel free to contact me or go to your nearest emergency department. If you live in the Los Angeles area I’d be happy to take your appendix out!